Miroslav Klose Breaks Ronaldo Record to Compound Brazil Misery

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Miroslav Klose Breaks Ronaldo Record to Compound Brazil Misery
Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Miroslav Klose is now the top goalscorer in the history of World Cup competition, scoring his 16th tournament goal early in Germany's 7-1 semifinal victory over Brazil in Belo Horizonte.

Normally such an achievement would be given pages and pages of column inches, but such was the manner of the game that Klose will have to concede much of that acclaim.

He will care little. Germany will head into Sunday’s World Cup final riding on the crest of a wave, and Klose will spearhead that assault. Even in his 37th year, he is at the pinnacle of the world game.

Klose is not Ronaldo; the Brazilian was a sensation who, but for horrendous injury concerns, may have ranked among the very best of all time. Klose cannot compete in that respect, but his record is deserved. Over four World Cups, he has proven himself as reliable a scorer as the game has seen.

It is perhaps fitting that his achievement will be overshadowed by his side’s performance and the overall result of the game. Klose has never been a fashionable player, never the superstar, but consistently excellent.

Of all the 16 goals he has scored at World Cups, the furthest from goal came from the penalty spot. That statistic should not be a stick with which to beat him, but rather be held as indicative of the intelligence of his attacking play.

It was somewhat fitting that he should take Ronaldo’s record in the latter’s homeland and, indeed, in the stadium the former Cruzeiro star lit up as a teenager. The Mineirao will never be the same again in Brazilian hearts, but, for the Germans, it will be the place of legend.

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Klose began the tournament outside of Joachim Low's starting XI, and it is to his great credit that he has forced his way into the lineup ahead of the likes of Lukas Podolski and Andre Schurrle.

Germany dabbled with false nines and more mobile names, but, when it came to the crunch, they turned back to the man who has been ever reliable in recent tournaments. Once more, he didn't let them down.

For all the criticism he has faced for his lack of ability outside the penalty area, he linked play brilliantly and was on hand, as ever, to finish. He will have few easier games in his career, but Klose tends to make his own luck.

A final, and the chance to win a fourth World Cup title, awaits for Germany, with either Argentina or traditional rivals Netherlands set to be the opposition. It will be another clash of footballing heavyweights.

As Low sits to select his side on Saturday night, he will be aware that he has extraordinary options within his squad. Veteran Klose will almost certainly be in the lineup again, and it would be a major surprise if he didn't step up for his country once more.

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